January 9, 2023

Wayne State to host two-day MLK tribute to mark 60th anniversary of the March on Washington

Wayne State University will host its annual tribute to the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 12 and 13, a two-part event that will honor the 60th anniversary of King’s famed March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.

In addition to a panel discussion about diversity and economics on Jan. 12 at 5 p.m. at the Industry Innovation Center Auditorium, the event also will feature a keynote address on Jan. 13 in the Mike Ilitch School of Business Lear Auditorium by business leader Randy D. Williams, founder and president of Talley & Twine, the nation’s largest Black-owned watch company. Williams’ address will focus on connecting social justice to economic opportunity.

WSU President M. Roy Wilson hailed the tribute for recognizing the full breadth of King’s work. “Throughout his life, Dr. King fought not only for social equality for Black Americans and other oppressed people, but he also championed economic parity, the chance for all us to reap the bountiful rewards of a just and diverse nation,” Wilson said. “This year, as in years past, we eagerly look forward to honoring his efforts and to recognizing those in our community whose work continues his legacy today.”

At the Friday event, which begins at 10 a.m., WSU also will present the annual Dr. Arthur L. Johnson Community Leadership Awards, which honor work that exemplifies the commitment of the late NAACP and WSU leader to community uplift in Detroit and beyond. This year’s winners are the Dennis W. Archer Scholarship and Community Development Funds as well as educator Earlene Hall, Ph.D., a WSU alumna.

Meanwhile, retiring congresswoman Brenda Lawrence will receive the Warrior Strong Distinguished Service Award.

The Thursday panel discussion will feature an array of local leaders in business and media, including Jillian Blackwell, global senior marketing manager for Amazon Leadership Development; real-estate developer Chris Jackson; Sean Werdlow, managing director at Siebert Williams Shank Co., LLC; E’Lois Thomas, president of SEEL, LLC; Lucius Vassar, corporate counsel and executive vice-president of Cinnaire; and Beverly Watts, president of BME Consulting, LLC.  The discussion will be moderated by Orlando Bailey of Bridge Detroit and Camille Bryant of Walker-Miller Energy.

Due to limited seating at the two-day event, anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP at communityoutreach.wayne.edu/mlk.

On Jan. 17, the university will follow up the MLK tribute by hosting a day of reflective events on the National Day of Healing from Racism, starting at 10 a.m. at the Wayne State University Student Center Ballroom. 


Darrell Dawsey
Phone: 313-577-1204
Email: Darrell.Dawsey@wayne.edu

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